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To be annoyed by people pretending to have allergies?

(86 Posts)
crunchymint Wed 14-Feb-18 11:36:38

It seems to be fairly common for people to pretend to have allergies when they just don't like something. Which just means that those who do have allergies get taken less seriously. My DP is allergic to walnuts. Luckily not life threatening, but he does come out within minutes of eating walnuts in a painful rash. A number of times he will order something that has other nuts in it, check there are no walnuts in it, and come out in a painful rash. When talking to the server, they always say - oh there were hardly any walnuts in it, so I thought you wouldn't be able to taste them. Aaarrgghh.

Blackteadrinker77 Wed 14-Feb-18 11:41:04

Is it driving you nuts? grin

I would be more annoyed at the waitress scenario, it is my worse nightmare as my DSS has a very serious peanut allergy.

Spartasprout Wed 14-Feb-18 11:41:29

Shouldn't you be annoyed at restaurants including allergens instead?

crunchymint Wed 14-Feb-18 11:48:34

grin yes nuts.

I know the places we have eaten were wrong. It is never proper restaurants, more cafes. And yes they were in the wrong. But they obviously thought people just make up allergies, and the truth is some do.
I think peanut allergies are taken more seriously because people know about them. I think his allergy is not taken seriously because it is walnuts.

DoJo Wed 14-Feb-18 11:50:08

In the situation you describe, the fault is entirely on the part of the state in the place you are eating. I don't see how it equates to people pretending to have allergies? Are you in the UK? I've never come across a restaurant or cafe where they are this blasé- most places err on the side of caution in my experience.

DoJo Wed 14-Feb-18 11:51:01


PurpleDaisies Wed 14-Feb-18 11:52:37

I agree, the issue is with the food outlet.

crunchymint Wed 14-Feb-18 11:52:40

Yes we are in the UK. Maybe it is because it is a walnut allergy but he can eat other nuts?

PurpleDaisies Wed 14-Feb-18 11:53:28

I doubt it. People usually take nut allergies very seriously.

lashestans Wed 14-Feb-18 11:54:34

YESSSS!!! A colleague of mine pretends she is allergic to onions but sits and eats these "snackstop" noodle things that you pour in a cup with boiling water that are full of onion powder? When we went for lunch at christmas time she was served a salad with onions on and just picked them out..... thats not an allergy you just dont like them!!!!

BarbarianMum Wed 14-Feb-18 11:54:49

Are you in the UK? Because it is the law here that businesses need to know what's in the food they sell and communicate this to customers accurately. Ive never come across the attitude you dsscribe (and believe me Ive been dealing with this stuff for years) and its nothing to do with people pretending to have allergies.

What do you do when it happens? Do you make a fuss? An official complaint? Report to the police? Speak to a solicitor? Because if youre not doing any of these you are part of the problem.

Mrsknackered Wed 14-Feb-18 11:55:55


The place you were eating at were at fault BUT a friend of mine says she is allergic to nuts and dairy all the time, I've seen people in restaurants double glove/change gloves/run round like headless chickens because of her stupid lie! Just say you don't frickin like it!

crunchymint Wed 14-Feb-18 11:58:03

No just explained it is a real allergy and showed them the rash.

DinoSn0re Wed 14-Feb-18 11:59:14

Someone I know has a severe allergy to peas and lentils, he will go into anaphylactic shock if there is even traces of either of those foods in what he is eating. He says the amount of people who don’t take this seriously, despite being told, is unbelievable, just because it’s not a ‘common’ allergy. The blame for when that happens to your husband is with the eatery, although I agree that there is definitely an element of people saying they are ‘allergic’ to foods when in fact they don’t like them or maybe have a very mild intolerance to them. Either way, allergies should be taken very, very seriously!

DreamyMcDreamy Wed 14-Feb-18 12:01:18

Blimey, I think it's the restaurant's fault there, that is awful if they said "oh, there were only a few nuts" after they'd been made aware of an allergy! shock
Nut allergies are potentially life threatening.
No way could I be letting that lie, that could have been a fatal error on their part, luckily it wasn't!

crunchymint Wed 14-Feb-18 12:03:56

Dino Interesting he has the same response when being allergic to peas and lentils.

BarbarianMum Wed 14-Feb-18 12:04:11

Well next time demand some compensation and threaten to sue them. They'll learn really fast.

Alternatively, it's safer to check with the chef/cook than the wait staff.

BarbarianMum Wed 14-Feb-18 12:05:51

How strange. Is he allergic to peanuts too then (peanuts are related to peas/lentils not the "true nuts" like walnuts)?

BrownTurkey Wed 14-Feb-18 12:10:09

YAB slightly U. The restaurant was being highly unreasonable. Like your husband’s, some allergic reactions are relatively mild, some intolerance reactions are horrific, while some are mild. People are different. Total exclusion is not always necessary or the answer. When I was really struggling to identify my triggers, and at my wits end trying to exclude multiple items, I would be picky with restaurants and inconsistent (eg I massively annoyed a caterer at a course once, because I ate an egg mayo sandwich - I had asked for dairy free, which they had interpreted as Vegan, and made a nice salad, but with no protein in it at all - I knew I could tolerate a small bit of butter or marge, and am fine with eggs and therefore mayo - but of course to her that made it seem like I was making a fake request - these days I know my reactions better and just make do with what is available). Very few people have diagnosed allergies, but many people are struggling privately with food triggers to various reactions, or at least think they are while trying to sort their health problems, and I think its ok to ask for some information at restaurants sometimes. I have given up expecting people to understand though, and often pre-empt this by saying ‘I have a trendy food allergy’ if anyone asks.

But if your DH is actually saying ‘I have a nut allergy’ then you should point out the indian restaurant that was recently prosecuted when a death occurred.

MrsPreston11 Wed 14-Feb-18 12:11:07

Yep...I have an acquaintance who has allergies she can turn on and off......

Drives me mad.

Hedgehog80 Wed 14-Feb-18 12:12:49

My son has a life threatening egg allergy. Reacts to airborne egg too so it’s v v difficult, we got accused of making it up though ! By a nurse and our gp mistakenly told her as well that there was no evidence on his notes of an allergy....caused us no end of hassle and harm. Obviisukyngot an apology but then got told “oh so many people say their child has an allergy we thought you were one of those” ffs

AndhowcouldIeverrefuse Wed 14-Feb-18 12:18:22

I don't know anybody with a pretend allergy.

I have a non-severe nut allergy and was given salad with walnuts in it in a UK restaurant, after a relatively detailed conversation with the waitress where she rolled her eyes at me when I mentioned the allergy and said "you're one of those". No language issues, clearly an attitude problem. She was so rude that I didn't complain when I found the walnuts as I was afraid of losing it and making a scene. I should have complained. it was a well-known veggie restaurant on the High Street of a mid Welsh town that starts with a M

DreamyMcDreamy Wed 14-Feb-18 12:19:23

Yep...I have an acquaintance who has allergies she can turn on and off......Drives me mad.

There's allergies, and there's intolerances.
For example, I'm intolerant to milk. I could never have a glass of milk, but I could have say cheese on a couple of slices of pizza.
For simplicity's sake when out, I say I can't have milk as I'm allergic to it (if my lasagne came out covered in white sauce for example, or my nachos had sour cream on and I ate them. Poorly me.
If you saw me eating pizza or a bit of cheese on toast you'd probably accuse me of "turning my allergies on and off." It's not as simple as that.

Reacts to airborne egg too so it’s v v difficult, we got accused of making it up though
Absolutely not making it up, the exact same thing happens to me. My face closes up (eyes.) Just from being in the same room as one being cooked.
Amazing how people can dismiss and say it's made up though just because it's never happened to them!

AlbertaSimmons Wed 14-Feb-18 12:25:30

I'm allergic to honey. I've lost count of the times people have told me that's either "not possible" or they've never heard of it. Err - never heard of people being allergic to bee stings? It's just a version of that. And honey is in loads of things that you wouldn't realise. People often think that only a little bit won't do any harm, which is ridiculous.

Hygge Wed 14-Feb-18 12:32:34

The problem is still with the cafe assuming the allergy is made up or not serious.

They don't get to decide that for anybody, even if they are fed up of people they assume to be making up an allergy.

Surely it's better to pander to someone they think is making it up than risk making a genuine person ill.

And if they can't do that, they should make it clear they can't cater for allergy sufferers or get into a different line of work.

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